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Referral Exclusion List not Working?

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# 1
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Hi Everyone - 

 

Using the Universal code, I am still seeing plenty of self-referrals from the non-"www" version of the domain. I added it as a Referral Exclusion 6 days ago but are still seeing referral traffic attributed to this source.

In addition, I am seeing traffic from sub-domains appear... how can this be if Universal Analytics is supposed to handle this automatically? How can I handle this if the Referral Exclusion list is not doing the trick?

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Accepted by topic author Liz L
November 2015

Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

Top Contributor
# 4
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Hi Liz,

I don't think you should need to, but go ahead and add the specific subdomains to the RE list: tools.xxx.org, staging.xxx.org, itservices.xxx.org, and www.xxx.org.

Try that let us know how it goes.
Nicky Yuen, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

Top Contributor
# 2
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Hi Liz L,

Can you share your entries in your RE list (feel free to obfuscate any actual domain names).

Note that it may be necessary to add the various subdomains and even the top-level domains, ie. example.com, www.example.com, sub1.example.com, sub2.example.com.
Nicky Yuen, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

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# 3
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Hi Nicky -
Thanks for jumping in! The domain is www.XXX.org and the referral traffic is coming from XXX.org (without the "www"). I have added XXX.org to the RE list and am still seeing it appear in the Referral traffic reports.

Additional subdomains are showing up:

tools.XXX.org
staging.XXX.org
itservices.XXX.org

Any advice you have would be most welcome!

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Liz L
November 2015

Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Hi Liz,

I don't think you should need to, but go ahead and add the specific subdomains to the RE list: tools.xxx.org, staging.xxx.org, itservices.xxx.org, and www.xxx.org.

Try that let us know how it goes.
Nicky Yuen, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.
Find me on: Google+ | LinkedIn

Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

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# 5
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Thanks, will do.

Any idea why XXX.org would still be showing up a week after being added to the RE list?

Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
I'm really not sure, but one other thing I might check is to see how you are setting your cookie domain, when you create your GA tracker. In GA code, it would look something like this:

ga('create', 'UA-12345-6', 'auto');

The 'auto' specifies the cookie domain to which the GA cookie is set. If you have it set to 'auto', then it should take care of the self-referral issue.
Nicky Yuen, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

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# 7
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Ahh, right. Unfortunately I don't have insight to that to verify. A 3rd party implemented the code and it is not visible in page source code.

Will let you know how the RE list turns out.

Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
Hi Liz,

If you post the site, I could try and check for you.
Nicky Yuen, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor
Hi Liz,

It worth mentioning that the referral exclusion list does not work for traffic that is already cookied. So if a returning visitor had a referral source set before you added it to the list and then visits as direct, they will still have that referral source. Please check your session settings under Property -> Tracking Info -> Session Settings -> Campaign Timeout. If it's set to six months for example, it will take six months for all the self referrals to disappear. As Nicky mentioned it is enough to add the top level domain to the list. Hope this helps.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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Re: Referral Exclusion List not Working?

[ Edited ]
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# 10
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Arnold -
Ahhh, that makes sense. It's set to 6 months.

 

Is there a way to know when a site transitioned from Classic to Universal tracking?


Thanks!